On the northwest side of Soldier Field past the Colonnade, in between the line for tacos and the line for t-shirts, there is a patch of grass. It is shaped like the blade of a scimitar and slopes from one level to another. There might have been a low fence along part of it, and bench-like barriers protecting the rest, but the grass’ main protector is that, while there is no “Keep off the Grass” sign, there clearly should be; your mind fills it in for you.
Oddly enough, Deadheads kept off the grass. The patch was unmolested for the last two night, which was odd because hippies truly enjoy sitting in grass. For miles around Soldier Field, if there was grass, hippie ass was near. Some would full on yoga themselves into pretzels; the less-flexible such as myself enjoy a nice straight-legged lean back; a number of people had simply lain down where the gods had told them to.
Not this patch, though.
There was a rabbit, though.
Chicago is apparently overrun by rabbits who–though lacking the intelligence of rats, the agility of a squirrel, or the flight or a pigeon–multiply like rabbits. Rabbits are mathematical: once there’s a certain number of rabbits, there will always be rabbits. So, Chicago has rabbits and thus Soldier Field has rabbits and it seems a pretty good place to be a rabbit. Lots of places to hide, big feast every once in a while.
This particular rabbit had been in his hidey-hole for the first set, poking his nose out. After an hour, he figured SOUND: NO PEOPLE and he was so hungry because he had forgotten to stop at the deli on the way home.
I’ll chance it, that particular rabbit said to himself and zipped out to the walkway where there was food, holy shit, there was so much food everyfuckingwhere. There was this stuff, and this other stuff, and more of the first thing. (Rabbits do not have names for food.) He thought he had timed it right: when the SOUND stopped, he would run back.
Rabbits do not understand the concept of beating the crowd to the bathroom.
He fled the people near the exits, and cut through the patch of grass as a shortcut: if he could make it to the plaza by the food trucks, he could hit 35 mph on the way to the bushes and freedom and safety.
The people were in front of him. Everywhere he looked.
It’s dark; maybe if I don’t move, they can’t see me, thought the rabbit.
That particular rabbit hunkered down and pretended to be invisible. I walked by him two or three times over a half-hour; he never moved. I attempted to communicate with him Dr. Doolittle-style: I wanted to tell the rabbit that, outside of a Jainist monastery, this was the absolute best group of humans to get stuck in the middle of.
I cannot communicate telepathically with animals.
No one tried to love up on the rabbit, or adopt it; let alone toss things at him and chase him about. It was a Dead show. Everyone gave the rabbit some space. He was trying to get his head together so he could go into the show.
We’ve all been that particular rabbit, and it’s a good thing. It builds character.
The massive jams shall be enumerated and judged: objectively, for the record, with a sober and fierce gaze. Things blew up. Friends were made. Doobies were smoked. All the big things.
I just wanted to tell you about that particular rabbit.